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MXP Chatter: Reagan Sieg

 

Milot Land Tour's West Coast correspondent, Reagan Sieg

Milot Land Tour’s West Coast correspondent, Reagan Sieg

 

By Danny Brault

When it comes to BIG names in the freestyle world, few Canadians have made the cut. One of that elite group is Vernon, BC’s Reagan Sieg, who is credited for earning a bronze medal in his very first Van’s Triple Crown FMX Contest and now he’s becoming recognized for his abilities on a “snow bike.”

Most recently, Reagan entertained crowds at the Nanaimo and Kamloops Rockstar Energy Drink Motocross Nationals as part of the Milot Land Tour halftime show. It’s only a tip of the ice berg as the KTM rider has a schedule packed with concerts, demo tours and contests until the snow comes. When it does, he’ll be prepared with his track-kit, turbo-equipped KTM 450 SX-F.

Let’s learn more about one of Canada’s best freestyle riders (and a not too shabby motocross rider) in this interview with Mr. Sieg….

MXP: Hi Reagan, what’s going on? Is this a good time to talk?
Reagan Sieg: Yeah, we’re just building a runaway for some ramps. Putting our ramps out in the field to go riding.

You’ve quite a new deal going this year?
I teamed up with Benoit Milot’s Land Tour and he approached me this year with an offer to do a national tour with sponsors. I do the western stuff, he does the east. That way you only travel so far with landing ramps and save money. Then I have Jeff Fehr with me and we’re getting jiggy with it.

And you’ve switch from Kawasaki after so many years to KTM?
Yeah, I came on with KTM, not necessarily for this tour, but more so for the snow bikes that I’m doing. But now that everything with Ben and the tour is on KTM … Jeff is on a Yamaha … maybe next season we get KTM or Husky to support everyone on the team.

Sieg And Fehr keeping the crowd entertained in Kamloops, BC. Photo by James Lissimore

Sieg (right) and Jeff Fehr (left) keeping the crowd entertained in Kamloops, BC. Photo by James Lissimore

What’s been the biggest difference between the Kawasaki and KTM 450?
I think it’s getting used to it at first. There both good bikes to have. This year is my first time jumping a KTM; before it was with a track kit for the whole winter. I’m still learning how to ride it after having been on Kawasaki’s for 9 years. It’s more of a battle in your head, about the small stuff like gearing and details. After a solid week of practice and you forget what bike you’re on. When you’re pushing a button to start it, you forget all about it.

You prefer a 450 four-stroke than a two-stroke for freestyle?
That’s all I’ve been on since I went four-stroke. I like the power; I don’t like the little girls bikes. Now that I’ve ridden 450s, I wouldn’t go to anything else. I use my bike for a lot of stuff; freestyle, snow bike, moto, so one 450 works better for me.

Is it harder to flip a four-stroke?
No I’m not flipping. I’ve had enough injuries in my life. I put on a good show with tricks and wheelies. Jeff Fehr is my flip guy and the one guy who gets paid to flip .He has it on lock down so no need for me to go out of my comfort zone.

You know what, I’m a motocross guy so I am biased, but a good whip beats a flip to me any day of the week.
There’s something to be said about style, no matter what it is. You have it or you don’t. It’s not all about flips; some people think wheelies are the coolest thing on earth. You have to be well rounded and make it look all around.

Sieg catching some air on his snow-track-kit equipped KTM 450 SX-F

Sieg catching some air on his snow-track-kit equipped KTM 450 SX-F

How were the shows at the Canadian Nationals?
Nanaimo went really well. Weather was perfect. Super wet when we showed up. The next day it was dry, sunny and dusty and worked for what we were doing. In Kamloops, more wind to deal with but still put on a decent show and got to ride another day.

When did you start performing in freestyle shows?
Since ’99, so 15 years. I’m 35 now.

How many shows have you been a part of since you got into FMX?
Oh, I don’t even know where to start on that. Probably 15 or 20 a year for 15 years.

You’ve had a great career in freestyle motocross but now this ‘snow bike’ side of things is really blowing up for you. Tell us about that.
I’ve been the guy leading the whole extreme aspect of it. I got my first timbersled 3 years ago and right now it is a really small and growing market. Now it’s at the point where I am the only guy who has really stepped it up and gone beyond just riding them. I’m doing big drops and cliff jumps and putting myself into my own category in that sense. With the way media is these days, its’ putting me on the map more than motocross. It’s turning into a new lifestyle like when snowboarding when came around. Dirt bikes in the snow can go into the craziest conditions and they handle it well. If you don’t live in the mountains, you don’t care too much, but if you in BC and have the terrain, it’s a biker’s dream.

Being from Ontario, we don’t get have mountains but that wouldn’t stop us from enjoying a ride on of those snow bikes. They look fun!
They are a hoot and to do it at an extreme level and be paid for it, is awesome. I’ve been hired on by Sled Necks. They thought it was cool enough to put me on as full time rider. I will be in the Sled Neck 17 video and Braaap Films new video.

As a kid growing up, did you ever imagine one day making a living jumping a dirt bike?
No, I never really thought I would a make living on it, just something I gravitated to was riding my bike and snowmobile since my first tmie. I think it was being in the right place at the right time and sticking to it, like when freestyle started. It’s been awesome. Even the snow bike thing, it’s been one of those dreams you have living in this area. It was like “Okay, it’s winter, time put away your dirt bike and get your snowmobile,” but not anymore. Now the snow comes and you’re excited to put the track kit on your bike. It’s more of free range for your bike in the mountains. On a bike, you can only go on the fire roads, but with the snow bike, you can ride wherever you want.

What advice would you give to those younger riders looking to make a living at FMX or motocross?
Work hard at it. Some people think it will be easy, you just do some shows and this and that. But you need to put your time in on the bike; you can’t just be a ramp tramp. To rise above the rest, you have to work hard. Whether it’s demo tours, or contests, you need to be well rounded.

Ryan Dungey is racing snow bikes too now? Ha, no, this is Sieg's winter ride.

Ryan Dungey is racing snow bikes too now? Ha, no, this is Sieg’s winter ride.

What’s been the highlight of your career?
Getting the third in Vans Triple Crown my first year in freestyle in San Francisco. Being first year and able to dethrone some my idols and get on the podium was pretty cool.

Did that rub some of the big name US riders the wrong way?
I don’t think Deagan wasn’t too happy. Nobody else has a chip on their shoulder, some guys have attitude but when the new Canadian kid kicked Deagan off the hot seat … wasn’t friendly anyways.

Who is one rider who you’ve really looked up to?
Mike Metzger probably. Once I did well at Van’s Triple Crown, he called me up and asked me to be part of his team shortly after. It was mind blowing to me; he asked me to move down to California and be part of it. That was the biggest jump in my career. Metzger was huge at that time. Not only did he help me with sponsors, but all the media that was around him, were around me too, so it helped get me mainstream magazines front line and centre. When you’re born up in Canada, most of the media is centralized around southern California area and make these guys out to be big deals, and then you get these opportunities and you don’t expect it to happen.

What’s one the next big show for you this summer?
One of the big ones is Center Gravity that happens before August long weekend. July 24,25. Really good time, big music festival, lots of stuff going on, downtown Kelowna, right by the park.

Is it hard performing at events where there is a party going on? Do you feel like it’s easy to get dragged into it?
Yeah, some events can be tough. When you’re younger you get side tracked and don’t want to be sober all day. Most of them are fun to be at the whole time, and you come and do your job. When you’re out in the middle of nowhere and everyone is drunk as a skunk and you can’t be one of them, it’s hard not to be want to be one of them [laughs]. I like staying focused for the most part and not being hung over. Work gets a little hard the next day. It can get a little ugly. Then you don’t get hired too much more if you don’t do your job.

How often are you riding?
Depends on the time of the year, but quite often, if not always. If I’m doing freestyle, I like to stay on the bike. If I am doing a lot of events I might go trail riding or hit the motocross track. I try to stay well rounded. I also like to run and mountain bike and stay in shape.

Are your lap times still pretty good?
They are probably better now than from when I was racing. This year isn’t going so well on moto, because I blew up my one bike I had with my turbo at the end of winter. Haven’t put it back together, been too busy. Just need couple days of cardio, few days on the bike and I can throw down some motos. Maybe not under full race pressure, but I can rail the local tracks and turn some heads for sure.

So you do still ride motocross when you get a chance?
My focus when I started was motocross. I have had years where I focused on freestyle, but motocross is my roots and it’s best to keep it well rounded.

 

 

 

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